INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Another push to stop distracted drivers is underway and the state says you can win money by helping convince people to put the phone down.
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police say texting and driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do. The state of Indiana is rewarding students for spreading the message.
Participants who signed up before April 10 and have been using the hashtag #TXTL8RIN have a chance to with $5,000 for the most creative Vine, Instagram or Twitter post.
According to the CDC, every day in the U.S. more than nine people are killed and more than 1,100 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. More than 3,000 people died in distracted driver-related crashes last year.
In a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds – the equivalent of driving blind at 55 mph for the length of an entire football field. In Indiana, the law prohibits text messaging and driving. You can use your phone to make a call, even browse Facebook, just no texting. That makes it hard for officers to write a ticket if someone doesn’t admit to using their text app.
In Hamilton County, they are doing standard patrols for the month and officers will be more aware of drivers looking down at their phones at red lights or while on the road. Hamilton County also uses SUVs so they can look down on people texting.